California Gull

Larus californicus

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4

CAGU

Code 6

LARCAL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The California Gull is native to Mexico, Canada and the United States. This bird species has also been seen in Ecuador as well. The range of this bird is fairly large, reaching up to 2 million square kilometers. The global population of the California Gull is thought to be about 620,000 individual birds. At the current time, this bird is rated as Least Concern as a result of its large population and range.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

California Gull: This is a medium-sized gull with a white head and underparts, gray wings and black wing tips. The bill and legs are yellow, and it has a red eyering. It has a strong direct flight with deep wing beats. It feeds on worms, mice, other birds and their eggs, and garbage. The sexes are similar, but the males are usually larger than females, with a larger bill, head and tarsi.

 

Range and Habitat

California Gull: Breeds in northern Prairie Provinces east to North Dakota, south to Colorado and Utah, and west to northeastern California. In breeding season, preferred habitats include interior lakes and marshes, while in winter, are found mostly on the coast. Spends winters mainly on the coast from Oregon southward, in lesser numbers inland.

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California Gull SONGS AND CALLS

California Gull A1

Long call from a second summer bird.

California Gull A2

Scratchy, descending calls.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Kow-kow-kow", "kee-ou", "yowww", "kee-yah"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • In 1955, this bird became the state bird of Utah. It received this honor for saving Mormon settlers in 1848 when their crops were being devastated by crickets.
  • It takes four years for California gulls to mature.
  • A group of gulls has many collective nouns, including a "flotilla", "gullery", "screech", "scavenging", and "squabble" of gulls.
  • California Gulls are opportunistic feeders and can be found following farm cultivators or eating garbage depending on what's available.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X